ANR110 - Cultural Anthropology

Outline information
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Last revision date Nov 5, 2019 11:38:52 AM
Last review date Nov 5, 2019 3:02:29 PM

Subject Title
Cultural Anthropology

Subject Description
Cultural Anthropology is the attempt to describe, analyze and explain the evolution of human society. It focuses on questions of material survival, social forms and norms, and the roots of human perception, ideas, organization and activities. It deals with human origins and the initial emergence of our species from earlier primates, through pre-historic and pre-literate, traditional cultures to modern times. We will explore the evolution of biological capacities such as locomotion, cognition and language and cultural adaptations such as technology, religion, family and the state. More than the "causes" of specific beliefs and behaviour, we will examine the "causes of the causes" in the structures and functions of social institutions and the grounding of all attitudes, actions and the patterns that connect various forms of human social existence through the anthropological lens of cultural materialism.
Throughout the course in class, in readings and especially in written assignments, students will be given the opportunity to explore topics in:
Arts and Society (e.g., folk and contemporary culture as they reflect the interests of different social groups, convey dominant social norms and occasionally express dissent from prevailing beliefs and behaviour);
Civic Life (e.g., collective decision making in state and pre-state political systems);
Social and Cultural Understanding (e.g., the effects of political economy on ideology and individual and collective behaviour, and awareness of social relations in traditional and modern societies);
Personal Understanding (e.g., the shaping of personal identity, values and expectations of the self and others in subsistence and surplus economies);
Science and Technology (e.g., the impact and the practical limits of rationalism and empiricism and they affect the daily lives, economic challenges and questions of the ecology and environmental sustainability in traditional societies);
Work and the Economy (e.g., how the mode, means and relations of production and distribution of goods and services help determine who does and gets what, when and how).

Credit Status
One general education elective in the Sciences & Social Sciences category

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of this subject, the student will be able to:

  • Explain the study of anthropology to identify its role in the social sciences 
  • Explain the main research methods of cultural anthropology to identify how information is collected and analyzed
  • Contrast the sub-disciplines of anthropology to identify how each approaches the study of humankind
  • Analyze the elements of culture to identify them in everyday life

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

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Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.